Whirlpool received a patent earlier this month for a sous vide cooking device, according to documents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. First reported by The Spoon, the small appliance described in the documents consists of an cooktop, a cooking container, a wireless temperature probe and a magnetic stirring plate. (You can read the patent documents here.)
(French for "under vacuum") is a method of cooking in which you vacuum seal food in plastic bags and cook it in a temperature-controlled water bath. Sous vide is known as a precise and consistent way to cook your food: If you cook bagged steaks in water baths that are always 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the steaks will come out with the same level of doneness each time.
Devices such asor heat and circulate the water to reach and maintain your desired temperature. Whirlpool's appliance looks more similar to products such as the or the , which are made up of an induction cooktop, temperature probe and app that connect to one another to regulate the temperature of your water bath. The Whirlpool sous vide system includes a specific container that has another cooking vessel within it, whereas you use your own pots for the Paragon and Tasty One Top. Whirlpool declined to comment on the patent.
Whirlpool isn't the first major appliance company to take a stab at sous vide. Some electric slide-in stoves from GE Appliances have induction burners and a Bluetooth-connected temperature probe so you can sous vide on your cooktop. (It's worth noting that GE's Firstbuild microfactory/maker space created the Paragon, which uses the same technology.)
Originally published July 30.
Update, July 31: Added Whirlpool's declining to comment.